NewsA Celebration of Hip Hop and Black Excellence

A Celebration of Hip Hop and Black Excellence

Big Daddy Kane performs during the BET Awards 2023 in Los Angeles. (Photo: Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET)
According to a press release, this year’s award show amassed 2.8 million total views across nine Paramount channels, including BET, BET Her, Comedy Central, MTV, and VH1.

Dubbed “Culture’s Biggest Night,” the BET Awards featured performances from current hitmakers CoCo Jones, GloRilla, Ice Spice, and Lil Uzi Vert. Hip-hop veterans like T.I., Jeezy, Kid ‘n Play, Erick Sermon, Keith Murray, Redman, and Master P also took the stage along with stars from the aughts like Ja Rule, Soulja Boy, the Ying Yang Twins, Trick Daddy, and Trina.
“They thought it was a fad. They thought it was just a bunch of kids from the hood that was just making noise and taking other people’s records and cheating the game,” comedian and artist Affion Crockett told BLACK ENTERPRISE when asked about the legacy of hip-hop. “But we showed them that no, we respect your music, but we have another form of creativity to put on top of that.”

With the hip-hop industry topping $7 billion, rapper and entrepreneur Styles P from The Lox encouraged artists to venture outside of music to create other streams of revenue.

“Use everything as a stepping stone to grow and do other businesses. You don’t want to have your life just depend on the record industry [or] the music industry. You want to venture out to other things you love,” he told BE at the award show.
Honoree Busta Rhymes (2nd R) accepts the Lifetime Achievement Award from (from L) Spliff Star, DJ Scratchator, and Marlon Wayans onstage during the BET Awards 2023 (Photo: Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET)

“I’m gonna wear it on my sleeve. I do want to cry,” said the Brooklyn rapper during his emotional acceptance speech. He later performed a mashup of some of his biggest hits with an all-star line-up that included Bia, Coi Leray, Cutty Ranks, Dexta Daps, M.O.P., Patra, Rah Digga, Scar Lip, Spice, Super Cat, and Swizz Beatz.
Another notable moment of the night was a tribute to late legendary singer Tina Turner performed by Patti LaBelle, who admittedly stumbled through the lyrics of Turner’s hit “(Simply) The Best.” There was also a surprise reunion performance from Migos’ rappers Offset and Quavo, who commemorated their late groupmate Takeoff.
SZA was one of the biggest winners of the night, walking away with the award for video of the year and best female R&B/pop artist. She also tied with Beyoncé for best album of the year.

Below are three highlights from BET weekend.

Legendary multi-platinum-selling producer and artist Dr. Dre and platinum-selling rapper Snoop Dogg at the ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Celebration of 50 Years of Hip-Hop in Los Angeles on June 22, 2023. (Photo Credit: Lester Cohen/Getty Images for ASCAP)

“He’s revolutionized music,” said rap star Snoop Dogg. “If Dre had only been a member of NWA, we’d still remember him forever. If he had only given us The Chronic, he’d still be a hip-hop legend. He’s earned eight Grammys, sold millions of records, [and] founded some of the most successful businesses in music. But Dr. Dre has never stopped working, never stopped pushing the music forward. And I can honestly say that Dr. Dre has changed my life in so many ways.”
Grammy Award-winning producer DJ Kid Capri, platinum-selling rapper Snoop Dogg, and legendary multi-platinum-selling producer and artist Dr. Dre (Photo: Lester Cohen/Getty Images for ASCAP)
Celebrities in attendance included Big Daddy Kane, Grammy Award-winning producer Warryn Campbell,  gospel superstar Erica Campbell, television industry maverick Mona Scott-Young, Grammy-nominated rapper Wale, singer and songwriter artist Muni Long, rising New York hip-hop artist Scar Lip, ASCAP President Paul Williams, and ASCAP Senior Vice President of Membership, and Executive Director of The ASCAP Foundation Nicole George-Middleton.

Eva Marcille at Miss Diddy x The Brand Group Present: A Toast to Black Hollywood 2023 (Photo: Freddyo courtesy of The Brand Group)

“It’s getting bigger and bigger every year,” the LA-based lifestyle specialist told BE. “We have incredible people here, we have great partnerships with UBS [and] with Doritos. Every single year, they are still happy to come to support it. That genuine love is a reason why I do what I do, and it keeps me energized.”
Miss Diddy (Photo: Jorge Meza courtesy of The Brand Group)
This year’s honorees included actress and model Eva Marcille; Catherine Brewton, vice president, creative at Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI); rapper and songwriter Lady London; Kimberly Paige, chief marketing officer of Paramount/BET Global; Wale Ogunleye, managing director, head of sports and entertainment at UBS; corporate marketing powerhouse and author Bozoma Saint John;  political commentator and TV personality Dr. Wendy Osefo; Dorion Renaud, actor, model, and the founder of Buttahskin; actress Ashley Blaine Featherson–Jenkins; actor and percussionist J. Alphonse Nicholson; and Emmy Award-winning costume designer and fashion stylist Zerina Akers.
Sevyn Streeter performs at Miss Diddy x The Brand Group Present: A Toast to Black Hollywood 2023 at The Penthouse in LA on June 23, 2023. (Photo: Jorge Meza courtesy of The Brand Group)
“Every time Miss Diddy does an event, it is just beautiful, it’s Black, [and] it’s purposeful,” said singer and songwriter Sevyn Streeter. “It’s just amazing just to be here to honor legends in our field. Catherine Brewton is a mentor of mine. I love her dearly. She’s been a big sister to me for years. So, to see these people get their flowers while they’re still here to smell them means everything to me.”

Busta Rhymes speaks at the Culture Creators Innovators and Leaders Awards brunch presented by Netflix Strong Black Lead at The Beverly Hilton on June 24, 2023. (Photo: Jerritt Clark/Getty Images for Culture Creators)

Presented by Netflix and empowered by the Pronghorn Company and Lexus, the award ceremony also included a preview of original movies and series starring Black actors slated for release this summer under Netflix’s Strong Black Lead.

Netflix and Culture Creators honored MC Lyte with the “Strong Black Lead Icon Award” for her impact as an MC and a trailblazer for other women in hip-hop.
MC Lyte (L) speaks at the Culture Creators Innovators and Leaders Awards brunch presented by Netflix Strong Black Lead at The Beverly Hilton on June 24, 2023, in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo: Jerritt Clark/Getty Images for Culture Creators)
“Thank you to this wonderful community of hip-hop for me, made up of artists, producers, videographers, dancers, DJs who break records, who have pushed the limits to get the genre where it stands today,” she said the “Cha Cha Cha” rapper during her acceptance speech. “Someone asked me, ‘Did I think hip-hop would make it this far?’ No, but here we are.”
Brown presented Chloe and Halle with the Innovators of the Year Award, applauding them for “capturing our hearts and our minds with their fearless, fierce artistry” and becoming “symbols of strength and role models for young women, knocking down barriers, and proving that dreams can be realized.”
Chloe Bailey speaks at the Culture Creators Innovators and Leaders Awards brunch presented by Netflix Strong Black Lead at The Beverly Hilton on June 24, 2023, in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo: Jerritt Clark/Getty Images for Culture Creators)
“I see all of my peers and all of the people who have inspired my sister and I here. Thank you so much,” said Chloe Bailey while accepting accepted on behalf of her sister. “Whenever we’re together as Chloe x Halle, it’s special. One of our favorite quotes is ‘Individually we are a drop, but together we are an ocean.’ Whether we’re doing our solo music or acting projects on our own, we are forever Chloe x Halle because our sisterhood is a forever thing.”
Busta Rhymes received the last trophy of the night, giving a long and emotional speech about his storied career journey and upbringing in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, New York.
“I get a lot of love because I’m a giver of love, but I don’t get awards. Not in this form, so it’s a little overwhelming for me,” said the rap star.
He continued by talking about the innumerable contributions of Black Americans in history.
“We are the founders of civilization, the makers and the owners of the planet, the gods of the universe,” he said. “Our culture is the greatest. And with that being said, even when they gave us nothing, we created every culture.”

Source: Black Enterprise

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